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    Q2 Sales Up 5.1% at Target

    Earnings also climb in most recent quarter for retailer
     

    Target Corp. reported its sales rose 5.1 percent in the second quarter to $15.9 billion in 2011 from $15.1 billion in 2010, due to a 3.9 percent increase in comparable-store sales and the contribution from new stores.

    “We’re very pleased with our second-quarter financial results, which benefited from acceleration in the pace of our comparable-store sales growth,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s chairman, president and CEO. “We continue to focus on strong execution of our strategy, preparing Target to perform well in a variety of economic environments.”

    The Minneapolis-based retailer reported net earnings of $704 million for the quarter ended July 30, 2011, compared with $679 million for the year-ago period. Earnings per share in the second quarter increased 11.5 percent to $1.03 from 92 cents last year.

    Q2 2011 EBITDA and EBIT margin rates were 10.3 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively, compared with 10.5 percent and 7.2 percent in 2010. Q2 gross margin rate declined to 31.6 percent in 2011 from 32 percent in 2010, due to the impact of the company’s integrated growth strategies.

    Also in the second quarter, the company repurchased 14.3 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $48.11, for a total investment of $688 million. Year to date, the company has repurchased approximately 29.7 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $50.81, for a total investment of $1.5 billion.

    Target Corp. operates 1,762 stores in 49 states nationwide.

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